Simply Spirit

Christine Schenk's column is a regular feature of National Catholic Reporter.

'Circling the City with Love' campaign aims to bridge cultural divides

Simply Spirit - Well, last week was a terrible-awful-no-good-week in Lake Woebegone — my home country.It got so bad that this news junkie just didn't want to watch the news anymore. I had to face up to my fear that we're all going to hell in a hand basket. Decades of coalition work for civil rights, for peace, for justice, for racial harmony, all down the tubes. Our nonviolent ideals totally shot to hell by violence.  

My family and the Sacred Heart

It is June and every year around this time my thoughts turn to my Dad, who died nine years ago on June 16, (Father's Day weekend) at age 87. What nudges my memory is the Feast of the Sacred Heart, held this year on June 3, but in 2007 it was celebrated on June 15, the eve of Dad's passing. (The feast follows the liturgical year and is always celebrated 19 days after Pentecost.)

It is time to free Mary and let God have her own maternal face

It is May, and like every good Catholic girl of a certain age, I remember this as the month we celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus. A lot of terrific recent scholarship is helping my generation recover from earlier interpretations of Mary as a revered (if impossible to imitate) virgin-mother role model often portrayed as silent, passive, and obedient.

Clueless preaching about the Samaritan woman misses the point

Last Sunday the Gospel about Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4:5-42) was proclaimed at my parish. (We used the reading from Year A since we have six people entering the church. Other parishes may have used the Year C Gospel, Luke 13:1-9). This reading overflows with good news that "true worship" is not found in any building or cult but in the hearts of believers who worship God "in Spirit and in Truth." Sadly, clueless preachers frequently turn this Gospel into bad news, especially for women.